The Poem Al Aaraff : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

What was this poem about?They say that it is about a star,but the poem mentions other things to.I have a paper to write on this.Help me Please!

-- Anonymous, November 02, 2003


A poem about Poetry, Creation, and the Beautiful in general, unearthly, celestial, to which every true Artist must tend to reach, but of complex access. A realm of the Ideal, a star we have to fly to, if we seek for an unmaterial Eldorado. We may trace this notion among the Plotinian (neo-platonist) "Hypostases" theory (elevation towards the Pure and the Divine, intermediary states). The ephemeral nature of this realm is in perfect keeping with Romantic (German - Kantian, Schlegelian, Hegelian, Schellingian...) Idealism, too, as well eplored and "digested" by Coleridge (e.g. in his "Biographia Literaria", this, well known by Poe). Note that as early as 1829, Poe asserted already the incompatibility between PASSION and POETRY, staging the fall of Ianthe and (Michel) Angelo because their unattentive hearts to God's message. The Poe's strong and early affirmation of the Artist as a kind of go-between ("redeemer"?) who has the sacred task to link human people with God.

Hoping those hasty hints sufficiently helpful for your careful and patient reading of this wonderfully bright and rich poem (to connect, by the way, with Poe's late 1848 vision "Eureka"),

Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2003

You can compare this to the idelaizations and exotic llusions in similar type poems by Shelley and Byron. More exuberance than rigor and Poe himself begins to abandon this longer expansive work for his true forte, the short focussed mood pieces that convey his Romantic philosophy with more unity, order and economy. As such then, this youthful effort helps us see Poe's searching among beautiful verse, themes and ideas in wilder more expansive(but alas, more confusing)rambles. it is good to come back to this, as Poe himself often did, to mine the imagery and versification.

The astonomical/astrological element aligned with the pastoral ideal is no more fanciful but perahps more scientific in intent than earlier Romantics. In this poem contrast the ideal, dreamy mood with but a hint of mortality until the end to works in which you find echoes(especially Ligeia with its "The Conqueror Worm" poem, Dreams, and The Sleeper- among many others). The dark side, the duality is not in play here. Add to that the novelty in America of such challenging works and Poe's setbacks in using these works at West Point and the first magazine and one can see Poe turned away from writing such things agian. An exception(besides short tales and fables) is probably "Eureka" also challenging because of the force of Poe's mind, but a failure in reaching his audience.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

hi i wish what ill write will help you i come from egypt and i understand arabic and the word al araff is an arabic word that means a oerson who knows the futur or understands in astronomy and could tell the futur from stars and the word also means the person who understands in lots of things i wish i did help you send me back if you want any thing that relates to arabic waseem

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

Many thanks to our friend Waseem for his information. But we must perhaps precise that Poe was explicitly referring to "Al Aaraaf" ("el ārāf"), as the place described in the Holy Koran, in Sourate (=Chapter) the Seventh (entitled with this uncommon Arabic name "El Ar'af", meaning "Ramparts", "High-towered Walls"... , this chapter being well known, even by Moslim Theologians, for its extremely difficult interpretation), where dwell people that have commited bad actions in order to accomplish good ones (for example, a warrior who killed - bad action - to defend the weak - a good one). We may compare it, though unaccurately, with the intermediate Purgatory of the Christians. But the Mahomedan meaning is including, too, some idea of the contemplation of Heaven and Hell from this peculiar (moral/physical) site, and implying a separating-frontier place as well as a dominating one from which we can glance toward all the Creation and its essential/complex compounds, perhaps the very idea retained by Poe himself for his own poetic vision. Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2003

Thanks for the help.I needed that. Thanks again, Juniper

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ